Bengal govt issues alert for northern districts after rain wreaks havoc in Sikkim


PTI, Jun 14, 2024, 2:07 PM IST

Following incessant rainfall causing devastation in neighbouring Sikkim resulting in overflowing of the Teesta river, the West Bengal Irrigation department issued an alert for the northern districts of the state, an official said on Friday.
The release of water from the barrages has resulted in rising the water level of the Teesta and because of that there is a threat of flood in areas on both sides of Teesta in Jalpaiguri district, he said.
Teesta is one of the major rivers of the state, and Jalpaiguri district is in the floodplain of this river. A barrage across the river was built at Gajoldoba in the district. Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts in the northern part of West Bengal share borders with Sikkim where rain-triggered landslides left a trail of destruction and six dead people on Thursday.
“The water of Teesta is rising because of the release of water from barrages in Sikkim. Teesta is coming down with great speed and an alert has been issued in this regard. We have taken all precautionary measures. Leaves of all the officials have been cancelled,” the official told PTI.
The Jalpaiguri district administration has been using public address system asking inhabitants near the Teesta to move to higher land, he said, adding that the fishermen were advised not to venture into the river.
“In several places, Teesta is almost getting into townships. So much water is coming down from the mountain that it is not possible for the barrage to stop that. As a result, plain lands will be affected. Irrigation department officials have been sent for on-site inspection,” he added.
When contacted, an official of the Jalpaiguri Sadar Sub-Divisional office said the alert has been sounded in all blocks.
“Everything from boats to rescue equipment has been kept ready. Residents have been asked to leave river banks,” he said.
On Thursday, a sub-divisional magistrate went to Maynaguri to review the flood situation of the Jaldhaka River, he said, adding that the administration is working to evacuate the villagers of Odlabari gram panchayat to a safe distance.
In neighbouring Sikkim, at least six people were killed and 1,500-odd tourists stranded as massive landslides triggered by incessant rainfall caused devastation in Mangan district on Thursday.
A newly-constructed bailey bridge at Sangkalang collapsed snapping the link between Mangan with Dzongu and Chungthang. Landslides blocked stretches of roads and several houses were inundated or damaged, while electricity poles were swept away.

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